What’s Wrong With America: Education

There’s several things wrong with education in this country.

First, there is a disturbing movement by some to actually discourage people from getting a college education. It’s a waste of money, they say. It only builds up debt and overtaxes government programs to fund it. They posit that people should spend this time starting and building their careers. So let me get this straight. You want accountants, engineers, and IT specialists who are wholly untrained in their fields doing these jobs?

From personal experience, I can tell you that every step of my education, an education I should have completed 20 years ago, has brought a marked improvement in skills and career opportunities. It’s insane to suggest college is a waste of time.

But part of their position comes from a very real problem. Colleges are lagging behind what American businesses and government need right now. We don’t train enough engineers. Technical schools teach technology that’s three to five years old, leaving students to have to fend for themselves. And we graduate too many IT geeks without a clue as to the business processes they support. Add to that the sheer neglect humanities and sciences have to endure, and you have a recipe for decline. Don’t like engineers from India taking all the job openings? Quit whining that your kid has to do math, turn the friggin’ TV and Facebook off, and knuckle down. And schools need to adapt. Fast. The programming I’m teaching myself today is going to be obsolete in a couple of years. Schools are further behind on this. It needs to stop. Now.

The worst part, however, is our attitude toward education in general. Taxophobes like to attack schools for waste and overspending with a zeal that makes the most radical gun rights advocate look apathetic to his own cause. As a result, we’ve developed a collective attitude that the people we pay to teach our children and prepare them for the adult world are treated with less respect than the bored kid at the McDonald’s drive-thru.

All I can say is you get what you pay for.

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